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Allaire sworn in as Rutland mayor - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Allaire sworn in as Rutland mayor

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

"I, Dave Allaire, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of mayor," Allaire pledged Wednesday.

About 50 people crowded the aldermen chambers room at Rutland City Hall to watch Dave Allaire take the oath of office.

For the past 19 years, Allaire served on the Board of Aldermen. He resigned from that position to become Rutland's 36th mayor.

His election was a bit of an upset. Allaire ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Mayor Chris Louras in two previous elections. This time around, it was a four-person race and Louras held the city's top job for a decade. Allaire knew it would be a tough battle.

"Very humbling. Very exciting," Allaire said.

"I knew that all elections, there's an opportunity for people to lose," former mayor Chris Louras said with a shrug.

Louras says he isn't surprised he lost. But he was surprised by how much, given the strong support he's seen for the last 10 years. Allaire won 51 percent of the vote. Louras took 29 percent.

"Why do I think that happened? I believe the conversations around refugee resettlement really drove the election," Louras said.

In November, Louras announced plans to relocate 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugee families to the city. The Board of Aldermen and Rutland residents were not notified beforehand. Louras says those plans cost him the election. But several voters at the polls on Town Meeting Day told us it wasn't the plan to bring them, it was the secrecy leading up to it. Allaire campaigned on transparency in the mayor's office during the refugee debate that followed Louras' announcement.

"Everybody is looking forward to a new beginning," Allaire said.

Mayor Allaire says he'll appoint his staff first, and then focus on economic development. He says the city must find ways to attract new workers.

But as far as bringing refugees to the city, the new mayor says Rutland shouldn't rush in. He's not opposed but wants to examine it further.

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